Saturday, 22 March 2014

Moldova and Trans-Dniester: The Next Geopolitical Flashpoint.


Following on from Russia's effective annexation of Crimea, NATO fears that Moldova's separatist Trans-Dniester region is yet another Russian speaking region to be incorporated into Russia is one that ignores the fact it has never been actually part of the modern Romania that Moldovans want closer ties with.

Trans-Dniester ,or the part of Eastern Bessarabia that borders Ukraine, has been a Russian outpost since 1792 when Tiraspol was founded and forms part of Russia's late eighteenth century expansion against the decaying Ottoman Empire and  of Catherine the Great's idea of creating 'Novorossiya' on the Black Sea.

The appeal by Trans-Dniester's political elites to follow the example of Crimea, however, has its own origins in the fear of the Greater Romanian nationalism and revanchist idea of those who were behind the 2008 'Twitter Revolution', another botched fast track attempt to foist Euro-Atlantic elites on Moldova.

Previous to the Twitter Revolution, which saw the plodding Communist Vladimir Voronin forced out, despite having won a free and fair election, relations between Moldova and Trans-Dniester had been placid following the civil war back in 1992 after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In Moldova, opposition parties like the 'Liberal Democrats' and 'Our Moldova', funded by USAID and backed by opponents of Putin such as Yegor Gaidar's daughter Maria through organisations such as "DA !" were fighting a proxy competition against Putin for having had their power curtailed in Moscow after Yeltsyn's fall in 1999.

As with Ukraine in 2014, the protests rapidly descended into violence. The darker side of 'Democracy Promotion' is that Western liberals have continually failed to grasp that those wishing to appropriate funds for çivil societ activism' have a a murky association with the far right.

The politics of the Moldovan opposition to the incumbent government in 2008 demonstrates how murky the past of those complaining about the Moldovan 'puppet' government could be. Brega's Hyde Park NGO movement is aligned with Romanian nationalists such as The Unionist Movement from Moldova (UMM).

When Brega's Hyde Park Group'' had their radio broadcasting rights taken away in 2003 it was "a proof of Bolshevik tyranny against the freedom of expression" but then their website thundered about the need for the removal of removal of the Russian yoke'' and reunification with Russia.

This view received the benediction and express support of Dr Iacob Golovca, the president of the Association for the Liquidation of the 1939 Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact's Consequence and who is secretary general of the UMM.But what was not stressed is the favouritism towards Hitler's main Romanian ally.

There is, of course, no mention of the support given by the Romanian dictator Antonescu to Hitler, the fact Bessarabia had only been part of Greater Romania for the years between 1918 and 1940 or that Moldovan supporters of it laud Antonescu for his removal of ''the caste' i.e 'Kremlinoid Jews'.

In order to enthuse Moldovan Romanians,the Romanian courts on 20th February 2007 rehabilitated the wartime dictator on the grounds that his joint invasion of the USSR did not constitute a "crime against peace" because Moldova belonged to it.

In fact both the Young Liberals and the the Youth Organisation of the Liberal Party (PL) are pretty good at organising mass demonstrations supporting Greater Romanian ideology, calling for commemorations to remember Soviet occupation of Besserabia

The Liberal Party was led by Mihai Ghimpu in 2008, one of the key founders of the Moldovan Popular Front which after the dissolution of the Moldovan SSR in March 1990 called for immediate reunification with Romania, purging all non-Moldovans from government and cultural institutions.

Mirai Ghimpu is also no less than the uncle of Dirin Chirtoaca who has accused the Communists of fomenting riots amidst an otherwise peaceful protest. But the Liberal Party bears as much relation to liberalism as the Moldovan Communist party does to Communism.

The Liberal Party ( PL) is closer to Zhirinovsky's Russian party of the same name and the rebranding methods encouraged by supposedly independent NGO's like The Moldova Foundation have failed to dampen the underlying atavistic ethnic nationalism that motivates hatred of all things Russian.

The Greater Romanian ideology common in the political circles is one that resents Trans-Dniester and the political figures standing in continuity with Antonescu would like to turn the screw on this bizarre pro-Russian enclave through a variety of economic and political means.

In fact, as with Crimea, Trans-Dniester is not regarded as a 'real state' and it is a thorn in NATO planned to transform the Black Sea into a NATO lake. The loss of Crimea could well see far more pressure being put on this bizarre enclave connected with Russia and more 'New Cold War' tension.

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